Friday, September 26, 2014

the rainmaker | preparing for the role

We've been overhearing the team for THE RAINMAKER talking about the research they've been doing to prepare for the show, and we thought it would be fun to let you in on what helps shape the actors' perception of the world of the play.

A four-part documentary created by Ken Burns in 2012 for PBS on the Dust Bowl, a period of about eight years in the 1930s of severe drought and dust storms in the US and Canada.  

The stories of individual Canadians who survived the depression and droughts of the 1930s, including many stories from farms and ranches similar to the Curry Family Ranch in The Rainmaker.

The story of the Dionne quintuplets, born in the 1930s, giving another picture of that time.

This classic story gets right into the world of The Rainmaker, depicting the Great Depression and Dust Bowl through the lens of one farming family.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

the rainmaker | set design

As the actors started rehearsing, we starting to build the world of THE RAINMAKER on our stage!  Here's a preview of the design and building process.

Set Designer John Webber unveils the maquette at the first read.

The maquette up close.

Set installation in progress.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

sept 28 | poetry in transit | diane tucker

Our board member Diane Tucker is going to have some of her poetry featured in the Poetry in Transit program! No confirmation yet which shelters she'll be on, but she'll be doing a reading on the Poetry in Transit bus parked at Homer Street as a part of the Word Vancouver Festival.

Diane Tucker Reading - September 28th
Word Vancouver Festival
12:15 and 4pm
Poetry in Transit Bus (Homer St.)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

meet the apprentice | kayla heselwood

The final apprentice for your to meet is Kayla Heselwood!

Kayla Heselwood

What were you doing last year?:
Last year I was working at Arts Umbrella; a non-for-profit arts education centre. I was mainly a teaching assistant for drama, visual arts and creative movement classes. The majority of my time I worked with the Outreach program going into schools and community centres bringing art classes to children and youth. Over the summer, I worked for a children's theatre company in Winnipeg called Manitoba Theatre for Young People. I worked as an instructor and teaching assistant. It was a lot of work, but very rewarding.

What are your favourite shows you’ve worked on so far?:
The most recent show I performed in was the Welcome Aboard show on the Disney Fantasy. Getting to perform on the stage of the Walt Disney Theatre was pretty darn cool! This past year I assisted the very talented Orsy Szabo in directing Alice in Wonderland for an Outreach program at Arts Umbrella. Being a part of the creative process with the teens including the performance for their parents, was a truly moving experience.

What’s your non-theatrical specialty?:
My non-theatrical specialty is working with children and youth. I LOVE working with kids! In fact, I started off in the Education Program at the University of Winnipeg. I soon realized how unfair I was being to myself and to the kids as I was encouraging them to pursue their dreams while putting mine on hold. That is when I set my eyes on Vancouver.

What’s the number one thing you’re excited about doing during your apprenticeship?:
Honestly, everything! I cannot wait to be a part of the creating process and then seeing a project through to the stage.

Where have you trained in theatre?:
I received my BA from the university of Winnipeg in English and Theatre. I received my diploma from Vancouver Film School after graduating from their full time Acting for Film and Television Program.

What was your favourite part of your training?:
Scene study class was one of my favourite parts of training. Being able to play, explore and continually be in the moment was a huge breakthrough for me. I also loved movement and voice class. Oh! And massage Wednesday to help with vocal warm up. What a great way to start off the day!

Is there anything coming up in your apprenticeship that will be a totally new experience to you?:
Yes! Being a part of a staged reading in March. I have no idea what to expect and I think that is what makes me most excited. Also, working in the box office.

What would be your top three categories in Trivial Pursuit (invented or real)?:
Sandwiches, desserts and film.

Monday, September 22, 2014

the rainmaker | first read

Today we had the first read of THE RAINMAKER!  We can't wait to see what happens with this charming little tale, but in the meantime, we have some photos from the read to tide us over.

Friday, September 19, 2014

meet the apprentice | shona struthers

Here's your introduction to the third of four apprentices this season: Shona Struthers!

Shona is so excited to be working at Pacific Theatre! Fresh out of high school, she is excited to be learning and growing a lot this year. She was trained for 8 years in acting at Grace Academy for Dance and Performing Arts, as well as West End Studio Theatre in Oakville, ON.

Shona Struthers

What were you doing last year?:
I was in high school (yawn)

What are your favourite shows you've worked on so far?:
God of Carnage has to be my favourite, Waiting for Godot, The Heist (original production)

What's your non-theatrical specialty?:
Kayaking, playing piano + singing, knitting.

What's the number one thing you're excited about doing during your apprenticeship?:
I am very excited to be involved with all aspects of theatre, and just learning all the time.

Where have you trained in theatre?:
I have been trained in acting for 8 years at Grace Academy of Dance and Performing Arts, with additional classes at W.E.S.T (West End Studio Theatre) in Oakville, ON. (also drama class at high school, but I don't know if that really counts...)

What was your favourite part of your training?:
My favourite part of training had to have partner and scene work.

Is there anything coming up in the apprenticeship that will be totally new to you?:
Hanging lights is totally new, and incredibly nerve wracking at the moment; WHAT IF I DROP ONE

What would be your top three categories in Trivial Pursuit (invented or real)?:
Geography, Star Wars Characters, Food

oct 7-18 | my rabbi

PT audiences will remember Kayvon Kelly from his charismatic performance in MOTHER TERESA IS DEAD a couple seasons ago. After that production we talked together about a two-hander Kayvon had created with his close friend Joel Bernbaum, exploring the challenges faced by friends who find themselves on different sides of a religious, cultural and politically charged divide. We haven't found a place for it yet in a Pacific Theatre season, so I'm thrilled that they found a home for the show at the Firehall.  If THE RAINMAKER rehearsal schedule allows, I'll definitely be going to see this one. (Oh! And it's directed by Julie MacIsaac - MEASURE FOR MEASURE, SPITFIRE GRILL, MOTHER TERESA...)

oct 7-18
tue - sat 8pm | wed 1pm pwyc | sat 4pm | sun 3pm

Arya and Jacob were both born in Saskatoon and have been best friends since high school. Arya’s father is Iranian and his mother is Irish-Catholic. Jacob comes from a long line of rabbis. The unlikely pair laugh at their respective cultural differences; dubbing themselves ‘the Jew and the Muslim’. As they grow up, their own spiritual journeys lead them in divergent directions that will change their lives forever. This thought-provoking comedic drama about the lines that occur between faith and friendship is created and performed by real-life friends Kayvon Kelly (Chelsea Hotel) and Joel Bernbaum.

“Kayvon Kelly and Joel Bernbaum show the grey areas around this contentious subject… funny and poignant… its message of togetherness has never felt more vital.” The Stage, Edinburgh

“I’m glad we’re telling our story when we are because this is the time to encourage dialogue,” Kayvon Kelly, Globe & Mail interview


“This play was my favourite show this year, the topic was hugely relevant and the actors moved me to tears. We took a punt on this play after having been handed a flyer something we rarely do, but I’m so glad we did. Many thanks to the fantastic actors who clearly put their hearts and souls into this performance.” Karen

“Phenomenally relevant examination of perception, culture, pre-conception, religion and conflict. Well worth seeing.” Elizabeth

“The two actors were very credible and talented, taking you on a journey of humour, sadness and poignancy… A must see. One of the best things we have seen over nearly 20 years of Edinburgh Fringe attendance.” Michelle